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NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

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New Product Development (NPD) is the term used to describe the complete process of bringing a new product to market. There are two parallel paths involved in the NPD process: one involves the idea generation, product design and detail engineering; the other involves market research and marketing analysis. New Product Development is typically seen as the first stage in generating and commercializing new products within the overall strategic process of product life cycle management used to maintain or grow the market share of a company.

At Mawashi, the New Product Development process includes research, design, development, prototyping, manufacturing, and technology transfer. Here is a brief description of our systematic approach:

Investigation

In this first phase, Mawahi performs a detailed investigation to capture users’ needs and wants, and identify all the problems with the current equipment. A market study then helps analysing competitive and related products, as well as the latest technologies. A House of Quality (HOQ) analysis helps define the relationship between the end-user needs/wants and the product capabilities. We then utilize the HOQ correlation matrix to relate what the end-user wants to how we will meet those wants. A Biomimicry investigation can also be performed to find innovative ideas and possible solutions in Nature.

Design Requirements

In this second phase, Mawashi performs a systematic analysis of the collected data to elaborate the design requirements from the identified needs. Moreover, Mawashi categorize the technological uncertainties associated with the project, following the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Protocol defined by the Tax Incentive Program of Industry Canada. Then, a detailed list of quantitative and qualitative requirements is defined to orient the development of the new product.

Design Directions

In this phase, Mawashi develops different design directions and proposes innovative solutions for the problems identified previously, and formulates hypothesis to address the project uncertainties and to obtain a technological advancement. Ideation and group brainstorming exercices will help generate new ideas. The preliminary concepts will be illustrated with sketches and 2D renderings, which will be presented for revision and evaluation.

Concept Development

In this last phase, Mawashi refines the preliminary concepts and validates the hypothesis with experimentations. 3D CAD models are developed early in the process, in order to evaluate the formal and functional aspects of the product. Evolutive mock-ups are made with materials like cardboard, styrofoam, plasticin, clay, and renshape. In a second time, semi-functional prototypes are built with rapid prototyping (SLA, SLS, MJM, FDM, CNC). It is then easier to evaluate shapes, functionalities, dimensions, and caracteristics of the product.